Purpose: Protein C is a major component of the natural anticoagulant pathway. Resistance of coagulation factor V (FV) to activated protein C (APC), mostly due to FV Leiden mutation, is the most common cause of inherited thrombophilia. The aim of this retrospective study was to determine the prevalence of APC resistance and Leiden mutation in patients with non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy (NAION). Methods: A total of 25 patients with NAION were examined between 1997 and 2002. The patients were screened for APC resistance and FV Leiden mutation as well as for acquired risk factors of vascular disease such as diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolaemia, hypertonia and ischaemic heart disease. A control group of subjects without ocular vascular disease and with homogenous distribution of the same risk factors was used for comparison. Results: Six of the 25 patients (24%) with NAION had APC resistance due to the heterozygous Leiden mutation of FV. The frequency of the same genetic mutation in the control group was only 5.9%. Odds ratio calculations showed that patients with the Leiden mutation were at a significantly higher risk of NAION than control patients (p ≤ 0.021). Conclusion: The high frequency of Leiden mutation in NAION suggests a pathogenic role of the mutation in the disease.
- Activated protein C resistance
- Leiden mutation
- Non-arteritic anterior ischaemic optic neuropathy
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